- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) - Firefighters in Gastonia say a family’s pet cat is at fault for the fire that destroyed their home.

Local media outlets report the fire started early Thursday in a home northeast of downtown Gastonia. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the homes, and flames coming from one side.

Gastonia Fire Department spokesman Jim Landis said investigators determined the family cat knocked over a candle, starting the fire.

The family escaped without injury, but the cat hasn’t been seen since the fire erupted.

Authorities say the family has found other housing.

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